Saturday, April 14, 2012

Battenkill 2012

A long boring drive up to Cambridge/Salem, NY on Friday afternoon, usual annoying traffic and slow go around NYC -- did Py ever mentioned he hates that big city area, ugly, dirty, messy, over crowed bottle neck pretty much any time. Finally moving, but still high density beyond Tapenzee.

Meeting up with GABs at the Beattie Inn, Salem, NY. Cooking dinner. Team talk... Py did not had a chance yet to figure out the changes of the race coarse compared to last year and to his disappointing the Joe Bean Rd climb was taken out -- he was a counting a little on this one so far. Well, find out on the spot. Here below -- after the warm up 1st section of dirt and the only one major steep climb "Juniper Swamp" not left towards Salem proceeding to Joe Bean, but right and then here proceeding on some nice small roads and new dirt...


Breakfast around 7:30, looking like a very nice day :-)


Race start 10:50 -- very convenient and plenty of time to get all set :-)

Three GABs in the CAT4-Pink of the Tour of the Battenkill. Race map.

-- A little Race Report --

Rolling out 1st mile neutral and easy. Py pretty much kept moving effortless in the pack and trying his best to get up more to front at all critical sections -- moving up with ease on climbs, fun riding like this :-) The usual bottle trowing 1st dirt section was all smooth. The way up on Juniper no big deal either, kept flowing easy in the front pack -- nice. Almost too easy. As this easy allowed straggles to close up any gaps again. Wish there would have been less chilling in between... guess that's a damn C4 thing -- well can't help this as individual. Back on pavement towards Salem on 64 the groups is chilling out -- some what disliking this. 2 Riders escaped at some point Py did not noticed but it seamed a wast of energy even trying bridge -- to far off already. Moving around 1st few spots in this group and flying down to 22 at just following one rider and or leading -- good to be safe up front.

Left turn on 22 (new). Just flowing along in the pack. Exactly what he was afraid of, nothing really happening for long. Every one saving energy. And with no really long climb coming up, and just roller coasters + dirt challenges thus was pretty much not in Py's favor any more so far. Chill&Ramp up a little bump :-] This went on for a while and no big deal. At only one point a little harder effort was needed to bridge up a minor gap while obviously drifted too far back.

This style of pack movement is simple: you have to make up position all the time or you drop out at the back as always some one else is moving up...

So this seam to separate the big pack a little and Py lost sight of his buddies here -- if Py remembers right this was some where around Cheese Factory Road -- the first a little more messy and loose gravelly. What cause the field to string out and seeking for the best one or two lines. About here also the field got a little disrupted and mixed up with other Category riders/colors. Py lost a little oversight of where the front of the so far only front pack (with exception of the 2 guys in the early break) was.

Reaching about 1/2 time -- checking on his water situation -- excellent, a little left in bottle No1 and the bigger No2 not yet started. Munching up the left over of his Cliff bar -- that's at least what those chill phases were good for.

So far making up position one by one passing "pink" riders of his category. is this now going to be good and in his favor -- still ugly road conditions -- shredding through loose dusty fine to coarse and >2in diameter gravels at times... yikes -- will those wheels and tires hold up this stress? Py was just holding on at times in the drops flying just strait though better not even think about it... no option, go and not stall -- well or "dead end = DNF" in case of fatal tire blow out... all on one card.

But it all hold up well and he was making up still one by one position. The "infamous" Meeting House Rd was not top bad at all -- just shredding along... Leaving more riders behind -- just remembering one riders kit saying "Sleeping Dog(s)" -- may be he woke him up passing...

Out of this road picking up on speed, feeling good, flying by other races... let the fun begin now. At this point Py notices a few riders tagging on -- well, fine -- share the work load please. At least a few guys, about a number of four worked just nicely together with Py, great. Next slight incline loosing them but one hanging on... now wouldn't this be nice to have a few team buddies to lead out here now??? About 20km to go.

A few minor dirt sections and climbs. He could have gone harder and faster -- but possibly would have just made those guys profiting more. Hitting the last dirt climb. Rolling up and even chatting with that one dude... who some how managed to get back here after a wheel swap. Approaching Cambridge, obviously no one coming up -- so he just kept a fast but not excessive fast pace with room to go... Last 2km... moving at good steady 40..42km/h... 1km to go and the 400m in sight. Picking up even more speed with 100m to go -- and sure this 4 dudes coming around last 1s -- screw you. Should Py care? 17th (or 13th -- all the same time.) A good team buddy would have taken it -- period.


Battenkilled Bike::


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